The Tumut Car Wash and Laundromat is at least $60, 000 out of pocket after a vandal caused extensive damage to their equipment, all to make off with around $60 worth of coins.
Manager Patrick Bell said they clean out the coin operated machines regularly so that there is never a significant amount of money in them, but that didn’t stop the perpetrator from destroying their industrial washing machine, several other washers and dryers, the auto wash machine, and multiple manual car wash bays in a fruitless search for cash.
The crime took place at around 3am on Sunday morning, and Mr Bell is asking anyone with any information to come forward.
The man in question appears to be in his thirties with a slim build and stands at about 175cm high. His face can partly be made out through a hole in the balaclava he was wearing and police are pursuing an investigation using security camera footage.
For Mr Bell, the most painful part of the senseless vandalism is that now he won’t be able to follow through with his plans to put money back into the town.
“We want to do a whole lot of work and we were going to use local people to do it,” he said.
“All of a sudden the budget that we had for some of that has now disappeared, and the money is leaving town because you can’t buy these machines here in Tumut.
“The money that was going to be injected back into the community has been impacted greatly – that’s the frustrating thing. The people that could have used some of the support can’t actually get it now.
“We manage and run the Yass [car wash] as well and we’re trying to get involved with the charities there. We’re not looking to take a whole heap of money and run away, you know, ‘thanks very much.’ It’s about putting back into and supporting the community.”
This is the second time the car wash has been vandalised in two months, and Mr Bell suspects the perpetrator may have been the same person on both occasions.
“We are offering a reward for any information that will lead to the capture of this culprit,” he said.